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How Personal Can Ethics Get?

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The personal preferences of individuals, differences, cultural implications of ethics and how they effect organizations and their policies are a hot topic in the business management arena. There are no universally accepted principles on ethics and how to handle these situations. However, with effective leadership, and an employee code of conduct written and documented within the organization's policies and procedures manual, one can handle an ethical situation feeling good about their decision personally, and that they made the correct decision for the organization as well. In this paper, we will explore these issues along with a scenario where an individual's personal differences dramatically impact a situation, the ethical intensity of one's dilemma and how these characteristics can mold an individually to act ethically or unethically.


The make up of an individual's personal differences and their preferences can tremendously affect organizational ethics and without policies or procedures in place, and effective leadership, the bottom line of an organization can be financially ruined. What one individual considers morally right may not be so for another individual, and trying to resolve ethical dilemmas aren't as clear cut as they may seem, even if these organizational policies and procedures are in place. The magnitude of ethical dilemmas within an organization can be traced back to the cultural makeup of that individual and as an organization as a whole.

Discuss how personal differences and preference can impact organizational ethics.

What someone considers right from wrong can be a matter of opinion or the result of a personal difference or preference which demonstrates that ethics are extremely individualized. In return the effects of those personal differences and preferences can impact various types of behavior within an organizational resulting in some individuals acting unethically (Hellriegel, D., & Slocum, J.W., Jr., 2011).

Unethical decisions or activity can be directly correlated to the moral values that shape leadership and their subordinates, in addition to where that individual is at in their stage of moral development. Each individual's moral values are determined by their path through life, the stage in personal development that are at, and with there stage of development defining the ethical intensity of each situation. In return a decision and for an individual to act ethically or unethically within the organization arises (Hellriegel, D., & Slocum, J.W., Jr., 2011).

The makeup of many employees and their differences creates numerous challenging ethical situations within an organization and leadership has to be continually developed to combat these challenges for an organization to be successful (Hellriegel, D., & Slocum, J.W., Jr., 2011). According to Duff and Zuidema, it is up to the organization to persistently develop and nurture ethical leaders that can motivate and encourage other employees within an organization to maintain the success of that organization (2009, p. 9).

Discuss how organizational policies and procedures can impact ethics.

Organizational policies and procedures are the foundation for ethics for the clear reason that that are no universally accepted principles to abide by. The demographic makeup of leaders differs from organization to organization which reflects in policies and procedures differing and resulting in no concrete principles for all organizations to follow (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011). If no organizational policies and procedures were in place, the organization would be susceptible to major problems which could undermine their profits or bottom line. By having these organizational policies and procedures in place, employees are aware of the significant consequences that can result if unethical activity occurs, which can include or lead up to termination of employment. Also, these policies and procedures lay the groundwork for defense against frivolous lawsuits set off by employees who have acted unethically.

According to Marvin Brown's article "Ethics in Organizations", there are two ways to approach ethics. There's an "individualistic" ethics approach which conveys that every individual in an organization has to be accountable for their own behavior, and any labors to change their behavior should center on that particular individual. And then there's the "communal approach", which is the method where one individuals behavior should not be the focus, rather that individual's behavior should be studied in relation to the community or organizational as a whole (Brown, 2010). Both approaches should be taken into consideration



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